A shooting at a Bloomingdale shopping mall on Tuesday was sparked after a man accidentally kicked over a bottle of his own urine in a store dressing room, DuPage County prosecutors said.
After a store loss prevention officer escorted Keonte Griffin out of the Burlington Coat Factory in Stratford Square mall, Griffin pulled out a pistol and shot the employee, prosecutors said Wednesday at a hearing where a $750,000 bail was set for Griffin.
The 23-year-old Glendale Heights resident was charged with aggravated battery and a charge of unlawful possession of a handgun by a felon. The loss prevention officer was struck in the shoulder and did not suffer a life-threatening injury, authorities said.
"What's particularly aggravating is this defendant brought a loaded gun to the mall, and the defendant was prepared to use a loaded gun because he was angry with loss prevention," Assistant State's Attorney Lynn Cavallo told Judge Jeffrey MacKay.
Cavallo described the incident to the judge: Griffin had gone to the store Tuesday and was trying on clothing in a dressing room. However, he had to urinate, and he relieved himself in a water bottle he was carrying.
But Griffin kicked over the bottle, and the loss prevention officer saw urine spill onto the floor. The officer escorted Griffin out of the store, but Griffin wanted to continue trying on clothes and was angry at being ejected, Cavallo said.
When the pair exited the store, Griffin pulled out a .25-caliber pistol, and the loss prevention officer lunged at the weapon when he saw it. The gun fired twice, hitting the officer and Griffin, who was shot cleanly through the wrist, with the round ending up in his hip area, Cavallo said.
Griffin did not appear to be seriously wounded and did not require assistance entering or leaving the courtroom.
The prosecutor said Griffin had a criminal record that included felony convictions for retail theft and robbery. He was sentenced to two years in prison because of probation violations, Cavallo said. He also had an outstanding warrant from a 2017 retail theft case, according to court records.
The judge set June 19 for Griffin's next court date and ordered that he be outfitted with a GPS unit should he post bond.